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16 Ethical Fashion Brands That Fight Human Trafficking

[Note: An updated version of this post exists here.]
In our comfortable First World lives it is hard to imagine that human trafficking still exists, but statistics have shown that close to 21 million adult and children today are trapped in forced labor and sexual exploitation, with women representing the greatest share among them. 

An overwhelming 90% of the profiteering is attributed to private individuals or enterprises, and one of the most commonly cited industries is manufacturing. It matters where and how we spend our dollar, and we can make a difference by choosing who we shop with. There are many socially-conscious companies and non-profits stepping up to provide opportunities and empowerment to some of the world's most disadvantaged communities while providing quality, one-of-a-kind merchandise for their consumers.

In honor of the upcoming Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I am highlighting 16 ethical fashion brands that are committed to fighting human trafficking. As a bonus I'm also sharing my Editor's Pick for each brand (all under $75!), so sit back with a cup of fair-trade coffee and get ready to shop with me!
Citizen & Darling is a clothing line that fights the ever-growing epidemic of human trafficking and helps restore the identity we were meant to have as His citizens and darlings, allowing you to express your individuality while bringing change to another life.

Wear your mission proudly for all to see, and the tri-blend french terry is so comfy we suspect you'll never want take it off.

Elegantees' mission is to provide hope to overcomers of sex trafficking in Nepal, with a positive source of income that reinforces independence, a healthy self-image, and confidence restores lives one elegant tee at a time.

Ed's Pick: Dressember Wrap Dress ($72.00) 
We all need a little black dress in our wardrobe, and this universally flattering cut will take you from day to night effortlessly.

FashionABLE believes that the end to generational poverty will come when people are able to provide for themselves, and that they can create sustainable business opportunities when they manufacture  in the communities they wish to impact.

Ed's Pick: HAILU Wallet ($68.00) 
Slim, sleek, and functional, this 100% leather piece handcrafted in Ethiopia 
will meet all of your wallet needs (and it will even fit your iPhone!).

Malia Designs wants to bridge the gap between isolated producers in the developing world and Western consumers, and the income through the creation of handicrafts allows for women to earn a living, lessening their vulnerability to prostitution and human trafficking.

Ed's Pick: Silk Tie Convertible Clutch ($56.00) 
You can now carry your essentials in style with this unique handwoven silk clutch that can also be carried as a crossbody.

Mulxiply invests in indigenous, artisanal businesses who collaborate to produce their contemporary designs via age-old techniques, providing local employment in societies where those with little or no education are at risk of being trafficked to other countries or enslaved in migrant worker schemes abroad.

Ed's Pick: Strand Bracelet ($28.00) 
There's no need to sacrifice your style with this clean, modern design that can be worn on its own or stacked with others.

My Sister seeks to prevent sex trafficking, educate communities, empower the population, provide after-care for survivors and offer growth opportunities to at-risk women through the sales of their statement-making, ethically-sourced apparel and accessories.

Ed's Pick: Feminist Sweatshirt ($46.00) 
Created in collaboration with artist Athena Pelton, this lightweight sweatshirt is the ultimate statement piece and especially relevant in today's sociopolitical climate.

Nomi Network partners with local rehabilitation homes, social enterprises and NGOs in Cambodia and India to assess capacity and then train and equips female leaders in these communities to be able to make quality, market-ready products.

Ed's Pick: Slogan Zip Tote ($30.00) 
This sturdy upcycled tote is roomy enough for the gym or to run errands in, and the bold "Buy Her Bag Not Her Body" message will help raise awareness for the cause. 

Noonday Collection is the result of collaborations with talented artisanal entrepreneurs throughout the world's most vulnerable communities, providing them with meaningful jobs and allowing them and their families to flourish.

Ed's Pick: Desert Rope Necklace ($46.00) 
This simple but versatile necklace can be doubled or worn long and will match almost everything in your closet- we promise!

Passion Lilie is a fair trade apparel brand with an eco-friendly manufacturing process, on a mission to empower artisans across the world by creating dignified employment opportunities.

Ed's Pick: Mom's Favorite Blue Sarong ($34.00) 
There are ten different ways to wear this cotton sarong hand-blocked printed with eco dyes, making it the perfect choice for your next vacation. 

10. Purpose

PURPOSE is a social enterprise that provides professional opportunities and life skills to young women rescued from sex trafficking, paired with holistic care through their non-profit International Sanctuary.

Ed's Pick: Signature Bracelet ($28.00) 
The Purpose pendant is dainty but determined, a daily reminder of the freedom for the women rescued through your purchase.

Raven + Lily follows fair trade standards and honor their eco-friendly commitment, employing over 1,500 marginalized women at fair trade wages to give them access to a safe job, sustainable income, health care, education, and a real chance to break the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families.

Ed's Pick:  Asmir Triangle Charm Hoop Earrings ($28.00) 
These earrings adds an artistic flair to the classic hoop design and is definitely a conversation starter!

12. Sari Bari

Sari Bari is a freedom business where women who have been exploited in the sex trade or who are vulnerable to trafficking can experience a new life in the making, with a life transformed with each stitch and hope renewed with each thread.

Ed's Pick: Freedom Hobo Bag ($40.00) 
Lovingly handsewn from recycled saris in a kaleideiscope of prints and colors, every bag is one-of-a-kind and an investment of time, skill, creativity and patience.

13. Sudara

Sudara was established to provide training and jobs for survivors of human trafficking by creating employment and economic independence, and their products are made from hope and made for comfort.

Ed's Pick: Full Punjammies ($49.00 - $54.00) 
The Punjammies are comfortable enough to lounge around the house in and stylish enough to be seen in public in- just throw on a dressy top and a pair of heels to complete the outfit.

The Brave Collection provides job opportunities to talented artisans, exposing them to a global customer and collaborating creatively, and 10% of their profits are donated to fight human trafficking in Cambodia.

Ed's Pick: Compass Bracelet ($45.00)
Think of this as a grown-up friendship bracelet, the compass symbolizing the direction in life that you are free to take and the adventures that await you!

The Tote Project  believes in the hope for the millions of victims of modern day slavery worldwide, and  their projects are sewn in India by women who have made the choice to journey out of the sex trade and into freedom.

Ed's Pick: Hold On To Hope Tote ($29.99)
The simple message of hope is one we all need to hear, so carry this limited edition tote to spread the good news.


UNCVRD exists to bring hope, freedom, and restoration to women and girls living in slavery, donating 40% of the proceeds from each sale to their non-profit partner.

Ed's Pick: Lucreatia Ring ($48.00) 
Your new go-to ring is inspired by abolitionist, women's rights activist, and social reformer Lucretia Mott, which makes you pretty bad-ass yourself!

Want more? Find out what your slavery footprint and demand action from the companies you shop from!

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